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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued a notice to the Maharashtra DGP seeking a detailed report within four weeks in connection with the custodial death of a 26-year-old robbery-accused in Sangli. Aniket Kothale, who was arrested by the Sangli City Police on November 6, along with another man in a robbery case, died in police custody. The police had allegedly tried to burn his body twice to destroy evidence and six persons, including five policemen, were arrested. The NHRC issued the notice taking cognisance of media reports. Terming it as a "gruesome act committed by the police personnel", the body, said it is the "worst example of cruelty and lawlessness" amounting to violation of Right to Life of the victim. In a statement issued today, the NHRC said the Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) is also expected to clarify why the police failed to inform the commission about the custodial death despite the standing guidelines to report such incidents within 24 hours of the incident. The commission, which acted on the basis of media reports, also said that the contents of the reports, if true, are "disgusting". "The law enforcing agencies are for the protection of the people.
Anyone who is a suspect in a crime, if taken into custody by police, is expected to be protected by his custodian," it said. As per reports, Kothale and another accused were allegedly taken from the lock-up to the detection branch room, where one of them was hung upside down from a ceiling fan with his head in a bucket of water. In a press conference in Sangli, yesterday, Special Inspector General of Police (Kolhapur Range) Vishwas Nangare Patil had said that a detailed inquiry in this case confirmed that Kothale died in police custody and Sub-Inspector Yuvraj Kamte, four other personnel of the Sangli City Police and one more person were arrested on the charges of murder and destroying evidence. During the probe, the police found that Kamte and the other policemen allegedly took the body in a private car to Amboli Ghat in the Konkan region and tried to burn it to destroy evidence. Patil had also announced that the probe would be handed over to the Crime Investigation Department (CID). Meanwhile, a court in Sangli today remanded the six accused to twelve days of police custody.
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